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Merrill Brown: Ads Won’t Save Media Companies, But They’re Still Part of a Diversified Revenue Play

Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see.


The cannibalization of journalism and digital media sites by major technology companies has undermined the old advertising revenue model, but new business strategies are emerging.


Merrill Brown, CEO of The News Project (TNP), is no stranger to the evolving media landscape. Having started as a reporter at The Washington Post in 1979, he was the founding editor-in-chief of MSNBC.com in 1996 and the former senior vice president of RealNetworks’ RealOne Services from August 2002 through August 2003.


Brown is now focused on equipping small to mid-sized news organizations with services and tools to launch or upgrade their products, as well as scale more quickly and efficiently than they might on their own. TNP’s partners include 10up, Piano, The Associated Press and Charming Robot, and in January 2019 it received a “significant investment” from enterprise publishing platform WordPress.com VIP.

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